Who is a Supply Chain Officer?
A supply chain officer is a professional trained in supply chain management or closely related field. Supply chain management is simply the buying of goods and services that enable an organisation to operate efficiently. It encompasses the sourcing, movement, storage and inventory of goods and services from suppliers to consumers.
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Supply chain officers help their companies or employers to acquire goods and services required for efficient operation. They achieve this through managing vendor relations, overseeing order placements, measuring efficiency and estimating costs of products and labour among others duties.
Other closely related titles
- Procurement officer
- Supplies officer
- Supply chain management officer
- Purchasing officer
What is the work environment?
Supply chain officers may work in various environments such as; offices, retail stores and warehouses among other areas.
What are some career opportunities?
Employment opportunities for supply chain officers can be found in both public and private sector. These professionals can work in all sectors of the economy including; agriculture, health, construction, manufacturing, retail trade, wholesale trade, government ministries, education institutions, management of companies and enterprises among many other areas.
These professionals can also use their creativity and start their own supply chain management and related businesses.
How to become a supply chain officer
High school subject selection
To pursue a career as a supply chain officer, a good performance in the following cluster subjects is required.
- Subject 1: ENG/KIS,
- Subject 2: MAT A / MAT B
- Subject 3:any GROUP II or any GROUP III,
- Subject 4:a GROUP II or a GROUP III or any GROUP IV or any GROUP V
In addition, candidates must score at least C (Plain) in MAT A / MAT B, (Source; JAB/ Kuccps).
Education and Training Routes
If you work hard and score good grades in the above subject’s combination with an overall, KCSE mean grade C+ (plus) and above, you can pursue this career directly in the university (academic route).
However, if you do not qualify for direct university admission for this career option, you can still pursue it through a different route (technical route). Under the technical route, you can pursue a relevant diploma course that can help or enable you to further your education within this field.
So what course(s) can you pursue in either route?
- Bachelor of Supply Chain Management
- Bachelor of Procurement and Supply Chain Management
- Bachelor of Purchasing and Supplies Management
- Bachelor of Procurement and Logistics Management
- Or similar/ related course(s)
An approved diploma in a relevant discipline
Some important skills to have
- Analytical skills
- Decision making skills
- Communication skills
- Math’s skills
- Negotiation skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Among other skills
How to Join College and or university
There are two ways you can follow to join training institution(s) in pursuit of your career of choice. The majority way is applying through the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (Kuccps). This is a state owned agency that admits/ places government sponsored students to colleges and universities. One of the advantages of applying through Kuccps is that, upon successful placement, you will pay subsidized fee as a government sponsored student.
To be placed through Kuccps you must have attained a certain pass mark required for various education levels for such as degrees, diplomas, certificates among others. For more details on placement criteria, visit Kuccps website. The second approach is applying directly to training institution of your choice. Students who opt to apply this way do not get government fee subsidy and are therefore self-sponsored.
How to fund your post-secondary education.
If you are a needy student, upon application, you can get education loan from Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), a state owned institution that gives education loans to students joining technical colleges and universities. You can also access education bursaries from your local Member of Parliament (MP) or the County Government among other sources.